Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thought For Tisha B'Av

Today was Tisha B'Av. Tisha B'Av 1492 was the "deadline" for the Spanish Expulsion. By that date all the Jews of Spain had to have left or converted.

Here, in that regard, are the words of the great Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
"The conquest of the New World was accomplished without their collaboration. Had they remained on the Iberian Peninsula, they most probably would have taken part in the [genocidal] enterprises of the conquistadores. . . . The desperate Jews of 1492 could not know what a favor had been done for them." 
Not what we usually hear today.

h/t - Jewdayo

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Real Reason They Want To Destroy Stats Canada

According to the Toronto Star:
Fewer crimes were reported to police in Canada in 2011 than at any other time in the last 40 years, Statistics Canada said Tuesday ... 
Police services reported nearly 2 million incidents last year, about 110,000 fewer than in 2010, the agency reported. And the severity of crime index — a tool used to measure the extent of serious crime in Canada — also declined by six per cent. 
“Overall, this marked the eighth consecutive decrease in Canada’s crime rate,” the study said. “Since peaking in 1991, the crime rate has generally been decreasing, and is now at its lowest point since 1972.”....

Meanwhile the Canadian Government is busy building more prisons, and promising to get "tough on crime." And in Toronto they are - again - demanding an increase in the police budget. And to help find the money for all this, they killed the long form census and drastically cut Stats Cans budget. The facts, it seems, just get in the way.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dispossession of Palestinians Goes On and On and On and On and ...

When is enough enough? Apparently never.

The following headline from today's Ha'aretz tells the story: "Israel orders demolition of 8 Palestinian villages, claims need for IDF training land". You can read the details here, though they are just that - details. The fact is that the Israeli government has decided to clear 1500 Palestinians off of 7,500 acres (3000 hectares, 30 sq kms) of land that they have lived and farmed on since at least the 1830s. These Palestinian's have no representation in and no influence on the Israeli political process, and this move is of absolutely no benefit to them or their fellow Palestinians in even the most indirect way.

Does the army not have other areas that can be used for firing ranges? Is the Negev desert not full of empty spaces? At best this is callous disregard for Palestinian rights. At worst part of a conscious and ongoing policy of ethic cleansing. In any case, we shouldn't be surprised if a new intifada erupts, and we shouldn't be surprised when Israel garners so little support in international community.

What is this government thinking?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Can Music Bring Peace?

Can music change the world? Let's hope so. This song is from the album "My Joys" by Israeli/Iranian singer Rita. The songs are all sung in Farsi. Its a huge hit in both Israel and Iran.

This version of the song on Youtube (and there are 3 or four other ones) has close to half a million hits!

Read more about it at The Guardian.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Physics Rocks!

Scientists at Press Conference in Geneva earlier today 

"Higgs boson hunt over: 
CERN scientists at Large Hadron Collider find ‘God particle"

says the headline (see story here and here).

The woman who found the Higgs Boson is Dr. Fabilola Gianotti  (shown below). She could barely get through her remarks at the press conference announcing the discovery. “Why are you applauding? I’m not done yet. This is just beginning. There is more to come.” she said.

The man who predicted its existence nearly 50 years ago, is Dr, Peter Higgs (shown below). "I never expected this to happen in my lifetime and shall be asking my family to put some champagne in the fridge," he was is quoted as saying.

Rousing cheers and a standing ovation erupted at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) after scientists presented astonishing new data in their search for the mysterious particle.

Many hailed it as a moment in history, and white-haired veterans of the quest shed tears of joy.

Proof Positive (or so they tell us) of the Higgs Boson.